Piquet Received Boost of Confidence Before Season Finale

Despite Lucas di Grassi's recent comments on the very high possibility of landing a Formula 1 seat for 2009, it now seems that Nelsinho Piquet is in pole position for securing his seat with Renault for the upcoming season. Following his improved results in the last couple of races, Renault's chief of engineering gave the Brazilian a boost of confidence before his home race at Interlagos.

“Recently Nelson has shown his ability through his results and just as the R28 has taken an exponential improvement curve, so has Nelson, and that's what should be dominating his frame of mind as he prepares for his home race,” admitted Symonds when asked about Nelsinho's evolution this season.

Also, the Renault official argued that Nelsinho's coming to Brazil to drive in his first F1 race on home soil in career will not affect his performance at Interlagos. Symonds argued that most of the media pressure will be on Felipe Massa's shoulders and that could only help his driver focus more on his driving rather than face the media all the time.

“Going into your home race at any time is a double-edged sword, particularly so when it's your first time. What I mean by a 'double-edged sword' is that although it gives you that little extra inspiration, you've also got the pressure of the local press, extra attention and high expectation. Having said that, I suspect the Brazilian media will be much more focused on Massa than they are on Nelson, which is no bad thing,” completed Symonds.

As Renault is still to confirm their drivers' lineup for 2009, plenty of speculation have been made within the F1 paddock concerning a future replacement of rookie Piquet by one of the young guns in Renault's development programme: either Lucas di Grassi or Romain Grosjean. However, with Piquet improving his point-scoring percentage in the closing rounds of the season, there is a high possibility of the Brazilian being confirmed for yet another season alongside double F1 champ Alonso.
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